The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

 Posted January 14, 2016


Innocent until proved guilty …

By Gall


You know what makes me sick?  You know what makes me so angry that I just wanna do a naked cannon-ball … into a cactus patch?[i]


Yeah – this really does tick me off.  You know when you watch those legal shows on the TV – where they catch the bad guys and take ’em to court?  What is the one thing that we all know about the legal system in this country?  What is the one thing gets drilled into everybody’s head?  It’s this – innocent until proved guilty.  That there concept, is the Number 1 rule of our American justice system.  Innocent until proved guilty.


And … if you are eventually proven guilty … you gotta DO THE TIME.  I don’t care if your goldfish died when you were three, your folks split up when you were a kid, you didn’t get a “letter” in choir in high school, or any other kind of flimsy excuse that you try to lay on others to justify your bad behavior!  Now, I’m not all that callused … but, I do live in the real world (and I was raised right) … and I know that it ain’t always perfect!  There are things that aren’t always pretty or pleasant … but this is what we have to deal with!!!!  Deal with it!


I read[ii] about this 16 year old, Ethan Couch kid, who was out drinkin’ and drivin’ (doubly illegally, since he was also on a restricted license) back in 2013, after he was caught on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer, and was racing around on rural two lane roads, designated at 45 mph, in excess of 70 mph, when he ran into a stalled car and killed four innocent people, messed up two of his buddies that were riding with him (one is STILL in the hospital with brain injuries!) and sent them, and three other people to the hospital.  Sad situation – without a doubt.  I have no reservations that Couch intended for ANY of this to happen, and I do feel bad for the memories that he should have for the rest of his life.  But, the end result is he IS GUILTY!  However, our legal system sentenced him to a couple of months in a cushy California rehab (complete with equine therapy!) and 10 years of probation … and that was with a blood alcohol content of .24 (remember that .08 gets ya!) and also with valium in his system (and this was 2 hours after the wreck)!  You know that Judge Judy wasn’t hearing this case!!!


How’d his defense team work that?!!!  Well, it appears that in some courts it really does pay to be rich (and by all accounts, his mom and dad are) and to rely on what I think is a most atrocious and insulting defense.  You see, his lawyers declared that Couch suffered from AFFLUENZA[iii]!  This is a portmanteau[iv] of affluence and influenza and is a term more commonly used by critics of consumerism.  In this case, it is used in reference to an inability to understand the consequences of your actions because of your financial privilege (in layman’s speak – we’re so f***ing rich, your f***ing rules don’t apply to us!!!!)  Now … That Ain’t Right Folks!!!


You see, the main defense is that Couch’s parents, and all of the adults in all of his life, did not hold him accountable for ANY actions during this short little life.  He was never taught wrong from right!  He just did whatever he wanted and there were never any repercussions to him.  It seems that it runs in the family too … both his mom and dad have had several run-ins with the law in the past and have gotten nothing more than a slap on the wrist for it!


You know, as I read other stories on the internet where these inner-city kids, and others, who also have no parental or spiritual guidance during their raising and also live in REALLY rough, impoverished neighborhoods – when they get into trouble – often times much less severe than Couch’s – they typically wind up with some heavy duty prison time!  Sure, these kids parents aren’t nearly as well-to-do – but I figure that if “affluenza” is a valid reason … “poorfluenza” should be too!  When have you ever heard of that!  I expect that a kid born to a crack Ho with a deadbeat baby-daddy probably had no repercussions in his life and probably had no ability to learn right from wrong in his neighborhood (or learned it backwards!)!!  Or how about “Godfluenza” for all those terrorists that think if you kill someone in a holy war that you get rewarded with all those virgins!!!  How messed up is this kinda thinking?????  What happened to good ol’ personal responsibility?!!  When our legal system starts taking any ol’ kinda reason to get you off … we’re in pretty big trouble … I tell you what[v]!


Skip forward to December 2015 … seems like the poor little rich boy[vi] was videoed while again drinking booze and playing beer pong (keep in mind that he’s only 18 now).  The video was posted on facebook and someone tweeted about it.  His action would violate his probation and should put him in a big boy prison where his (daddy’s) wealth won’t keep all of the other “little boys” at bay … so what does he and his mommy do … flee to Mexico.  They were later discovered and arrested in Puerto Vallarta by the Mexican cops (I read that he has a pretty big tab at the strip bar … good job mom!).  At the time of this writing, Mommy has been extradited, but daddy (now divorced from mommy) has hired a high-profiled Mexican lawyer to represent junior and they now hope to fight extradition (but from what I’ve read, treaties between the U.S. and Mexico say that Mexican authorities have to respect U.S. warrants, so unless he files for asylum, he will not be able to stay in Mexico indefinitely.  Further, asylum is granted to those who can prove a well-founded fear of persecution and I sure do hope that “affluenza” will not qualify!  I bet the Mexicans don't buy it!!)  Mommy stands to face more time than junior for this latest deal.  Hopefully their money will make them feel better while they’re both in the Big House!!!!


WOW!  You people crack me up!!!  With BC Justice, we would never tolerate this … it’s unheard of!  You (AND ONLY YOU) are responsible for YOUR actions!  I don’t buy this … “well Timmy made me do it” garbage, and I certainly don’t accept the premise that because mommy and daddy never held you accountable, that no one should ever be able to hold you accountable!!!  Give me a break!!!


It’s yours to make or break, folks!!!


Bestest wishes for the new year!









Here are some thoughts from some others …

sure wish that ALL the Couch’s (and their people) would’ve thought about some of these

(and there are a LOT more) …



Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self-respect springs.

Joan Didion



If you don't accept responsibility for your own actions, then you are forever chained to a position of defense.

Holly Lisle



There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.  The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, the responsibility lies with you.

J. K. Rowling



The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.




Taking responsibility gives us power and control, because when we recognize the relationship between our choices and their consequences, then the next time we don’t like a consequence we can make a different choice.

Julie A., M.A. Ross and Judy Corcoran



Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.

Rex Stout



We've gotten to the point where everybody's got a right and nobody's got a responsibility.

Newton Minow



Man has responsibility, not power.

Tuscarora proverb



To decide, to be at the level of choice, is to take responsibility for your life and to be in control of your life.

Abbie M. Dale



And lastly (and most importantly) …


Property left to a child may soon be lost; but the inheritance of virtue--a good name an unblemished reputation--will abide forever.  If those who are toiling for wealth to leave their children, would but take half the pains to secure for them virtuous habits, how much more serviceable would they be.  The largest property may be wrested from a child, but virtue will stand by him to the last.

William Graham Sumner






[i] Portions of the intro were “stolen” from Earl!!  Thanks Earl … it’s stuff like this where we need more of your kind of thinking!


[ii] I relied on numerous sources found on the internet, but here is a link to a story that covers most all of the gamut of this saga.


[iii] It actually was a word/theory before the trial!


[iv] Mashing two words together to create a new word … not a French suitcase!


[v]  Since I gave props ( to Earl earlier, I need to give ‘em to my man Hank Hill too!  Hank and Earl, like the Mexicans, NEVER would have fallen for, or taken, this crap!


[vi] Not to be confused with the Ri¢hie Ri¢h of dad’s childhood!





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